Rejection is a rough but natural part of life that can break a person.
It comes in many forms, but the painful sting remains the same.
Being told no or denied something good is never easy to process, but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience.
People who experience rejection daily understand that receiving rejections gets easier over time with enough practice and exposure.
This article will help you learn how to handle rejection and cope with the painful feelings that follow.
- Why Does Rejection Hurt?
- What Are the Five Stages of Rejection?
- How To Handle Rejection
- Should You Try Again After Rejection?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Why Does Rejection Hurt?
It’s impossible to go through life without a fair share of denial.
Getting fired is rejection at its finest, as well as being dumped by a loved one.
We know how common the possibility is in our life choices, but why does it hurt some people more than others?
There are two reasons why rejection stings.
Self-Esteem Takes a Hit
When we experience rejection, it clings to our self-esteem and reduces the worth of our efforts.
We are social creatures who constantly share our emotions and vulnerability with others.
Receiving a lack of acceptance or rejection form makes us question our skills and abilities to contribute.
You Feel Less Confident
It takes a lot of confidence to share the things we have to offer.
We take the risk of wearing our hearts on our sleeves when it comes to performance and personal projects.
The bigger the confidence, the more hurtful a rejection can be.
What Are the Five Stages of Rejection?
Similar to grief, there are five stages of rejection that people experience.
The severity varies with each person, but the process follows the same pattern.
Here’s what you can expect in each stage.
When you encounter a form of rejection, your first instinct is to deny it altogether.
In this stage, you build scenarios and excuses to rationalize the reason for denial.
Overconfident people with condescending behavior have a difficult time with rejection.
They can’t understand why someone or something rejects them, which brings about frustration.
You should not feel bad for being angry about a rejection.
It’s a natural feeling to be upset about bad news.
This stage is temporary and brief.
You should allow yourself some time to be alone and let out all your anger for the news you got.
In this stage, you return to your thoughts of denial and start bargaining with yourself on ways to reverse this rejection.
You may make personal promises to change and develop from this rejection or look for options that offer a second chance.
People bargain in their way, and it often leads to disappointment.
Once the anger disappears and you explore all your options to ‘fix’ this rejection, depression starts to creep in.
This stage can last for a while, depending on the effect of the rejection.
A wave of hopelessness and doubt will cloud your mind and body and keep you from functioning.
This final stage is when you come to terms with everything.
Either gradually or spontaneously, you will accept the rejection for what it is.
The rejection may sting, but you won’t let it take over your life.
You can properly move on, learn from this experience, and try again.
How To Handle Rejection
Whether it be toxic workplace red flags or a shaky relationship, rejection exists all around us.
The feeling is hard to avoid but easy to suppress.
The next time you find yourself rejected, try these methods to help you cope with the experience.
1. Adjust Your Perspective
Shifting your view on the situation and turning it into a positive experience can lessen the rejection’s impact.
It takes practice to pull your emotions away and see how this rejection can be beneficial.
If another coworker got the promotion, don’t be upset that it wasn’t you.
Instead, be compassionate towards your colleague and their accomplishment.
2. Recognize Your Inner Critic
Rejection invites the small voice in your head to start putting doubts in your mind.
It becomes hard to move on when you can escape your mind trying to bring you down.
Find the voice, pick out the negative words and phrases floating in your head, and silence them all.
3. Practice Self-Compassion
Having self-compassion for yourself makes rejection hurt less.
We are not perfect and shouldn’t expect things to work out all the time.
You know your worth better than anyone, so don’t allow external negatives to bring you down.
Love yourself, and don’t take it personally.
4. Indulge the Feeling
Allowing the rejection to hit you can be a positive thing.
Our instincts push away the negative emotions, but bringing them closer can give you time to understand the feeling.
Understanding the rejection helps your body and mental state prepare for the next one.
The next time it hits you, it won’t hurt as much.
5. Avoid a Victim Mindset
Don’t allow your mind to convince you that the world is against you.
Sabotage is a form of rejection that results in you putting up mental barriers.
Playing the victim makes it hard to move on from the rejection.
You won’t learn from the experience and continue to hurt from every rejection afterward.
6. Talk Yourself Up
When negative thoughts cloud your mind, verbal encouragement can help to develop a positive environment.
If you don’t have supportive friends close by, stand in front of a mirror and become your own best friend.
Tell yourself that you will overcome this feeling and become a stronger person.
7. Focus On Your Strengths
Rejection has a habit of bringing your weaknesses to light.
The more you focus on them, the harder it becomes to convince yourself otherwise.
Fight those thoughts with a strong focus on your strengths.
Remind yourself this rejection doesn’t cover all your other skills and qualities.
8. Ask for Feedback
Rejection can sometimes be the first step toward improving yourself.
You can see it as an opportunity to strengthen any weaknesses.
If the option presents itself, ask for feedback about the rejection.
Take the time to learn why it happened and how you can change to prevent future denial.
9. Keep Trying
Above all else, keep trying.
Don’t let one stumble prevent you from avoiding any rejection.
The methods above contribute to lifting your spirits enough to make another attempt.
You might not do it right away, but with enough time, you’ll gather the strength to bounce back.
Should You Try Again After Rejection?
After giving yourself enough time to process the rejection and cope with the emotions, you should muster up the courage to try again.
The first time always stings, and it gets easier to handle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you still have concerns when handling rejection?
Here are some additional questions regarding the experience.
Why Do I Handle Rejection So Badly?
One of the reasons is that you make it personal.
Rejection ties itself to self-worth and can affect you on a personal level.
What Does Psychology Say About Rejection?
Psychologists define rejection as the loss of something we had or wanted.
The impact is more effective during our youth when we are vulnerable to criticism.
The aftermath of rejection varies per person, with different times and methods of healing.
You can’t avoid it, but you have the power to make it hurt less.
With a gentle support system and a rational mind, your body can get through this difficult time.
If you have additional ways to cope with rejection, leave your thoughts and experience in the comments down below.